Oman prepares for PCR testing at airports

Muscat: As the country recently decided to allow Omanis to travel abroad and residents with valid entry permits to return home, Oman Airports has invited bids for the supply, installation, and operation of PCR testing solutions

“Oman Airport invites qualified local and international companies to submit proposals for the supply, installation, and operation of PCR testing solutions at all the locations identified by the Ministry of Health and at Muscat International, Salalah, and regional Airports,” the company said.

The closing date for the tender is July 30.

Personal sanitising and thermal check scanners have already been installed at the airport.

Many airports now are offering COVID-19 tests to all arriving and departing passengers. The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test allows for travellers to satisfy entry requirements.

“Ideally COVID-19 testing would be required in advance of arrival at the airport and within 24 hours of travel. Passengers arriving “ready-to-fly” reduces the risk of contagion in the airport and enables early re-accommodation for any traveller who tests positive,” according to IATA.

If testing is required as part of the travel process, it is recommended at departure. Governments would need to mutually recognise test results and data transmission should take place directly between passengers and governments in a similar manner as e-visa clearances are currently handled, said IATA.

Any testing requirements should only be in place for as long as necessary. To ensure this, regular evaluations should be conducted.

Worldwide, airports and airlines have their style of COVID-19 prevention and protection, but the two most consistent solutions to prevention are physical distancing in the queues and required face-coverings. Seeing constant reminders to wear a face mask in the airport terminal is going to be a common occurrence for quite some time.